Easily Influenced

My most embarrassing flaw is how easily marketing strategies influence my purchase decisions. Even now, while I’m studying the sneaky, strategic tactics used by these clever marketers, I see the wonder mop on tv and my first thought is always “this is EXACTLY what I need.”

I’m like a marketer’s dream. If everyone were like me, marketing would be a breeze. All I need to see is one semi-unique feature, a short clip of someone similar to myself using the product, and some kind of “one time deal” offer and I’m sold.

This also makes me the most basic girl in the world. Not just because of my loyalty to As Seen on TV products, but also because the company I am the most influenced by is Starbucks. Aka the most basic place around if you ask any wannabe social media influencers. But honestly I don’t mind being wrapped around Starbucks’ corporate finger. Their Instagram account makes me happy. Their tv ads relax me. Their loyalty program excites me. So as basic as they may be, they know what they’re doing. And they know their audience.

Starbucks has always been one of my favorite companies. You know it’s real because I follow them on LinkedIn. When I worked at Target I begged to become Bux certified, and the day that came to fruition was one of the happiest in my life (pls understand the mix of sarcasm and sincerity in that sentence or stop reading this post). Their training program emphasized quality products and super customer service. Which is a great representation of their brand, and my own to an extent.

In my consumer behavior class the other day we did an analysis of Starbucks’ brand personality by personifying the company, and let me just tell you we have a lot in common. We’re both just average gals who enjoy the finer things in life. If we were an animal, we’d be one of those kind of prissy cats that still like to snuggle sometimes. If we were a color we’d be something bright and fresh. If we were in the same room you wouldn’t be able to tell us apart. Our brand personalities are pretty similar, except for the area of humility and sincerity. I strive to make those a few key factors in my brand, but Starbucks doesn’t really take that route. Bux is like the older sister you look up to, who knows her stuff, is well put together, is friendly but not overfriendly, is super popular, and who has a great corporate social responsibility strategy in place (there wasn’t a metaphorical way to say that). It makes sense then, that as the youngest of 3, Starbucks is the cool older sister I’ve always strived to be more like.

I also look up to this brand because it kind of shaped my major here at Drake. When I was abroad in Chile, one of the first things I did was try to figure out if they had a Starbucks. They did. Two. Which was encouraging after reading all about Chile’s coffee culture, or lack thereof. I frigging love coffee, and the fact that they only offered nescafe most places was heartbreaking for me. It was nice to know I’d still have a little taste of home.

While there were other US companies and restaurants present in the area, Starbucks was the one that really stuck out to me. This is because they were able to stay completely true to their brand, while making small changes that helped them better market to their Chilean audience. The store set-up was exactly the same – it was a meeting place, a study spot, a relaxing go-to. But the menu was tweaked a bit – dulce de leche lattes, Bux brand alfajores , and jamon y queso croissants. It was the perfect mix of U.S. and Chile. I sat upstairs drinking my latte, working on my group project, and staring out at the beautiful blue ocean framed by palm trees (that was seriously what my view was). As a part of my international marketing class, we had to observe marketing techniques in our new city of Viña, and analyzing Starbucks’ tactics made me realize how interested I was in marketing, especially on an international scale. I came home to Drake, added my marketing major, and never looked back.

To sum up this mess of thoughts

  • marketing campaigns interest me because they work
  • international marketing is an exciting challenge, and as a result, where I want to end up working in the future
Starbucks Chile

After I became friends with the barista this past summer – note the correct spelling of my name that, every time before this, was spelled “Mary.”


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